A cheeky cheetah taunts and teases a large male lion to the point of frustration; the lion stalks and chases the cheetah. The cheetah is then forced to run for its life.
Kevan Dobbie, Assistant Head Ranger at Mala Mala Game Reserve, recently had this once-in-a-lifetime experience while filming at the reserve. He shared the footage with LatestSightings.com.
“A young male cheetah has been seen spending quite some time around Mala Mala Game Reserves Private Airstrip. On this particular day, it was a sighting where being at the right place at the right time paid off.”
Lions and cheetahs are both apex predators in their respective habitats, and they often compete for the same prey. However, unlike lions, cheetahs are solitary animals that hunt alone, while lions hunt in groups. When lions encounter cheetahs, they may attack them because they see them as competition for resources.
“Three of the big cat species interacted. Two Ndzhenga male lions approached a young male cheetah. While a female leopard (Nkoveni) was watching the scene unfold from the eastern side of the airstrip.”
“The cheetah, well aware of the lion’s presence, displayed some interesting behavior. At first, almost taunting the lion as if it were saying, You can’t catch me.”
Cheetahs have many different vocalizations. These include “purs” “chirps” and “hisses”
“One of the Ndzhenga male lions didn’t appreciate the teasing and pursued the young male cheetah. The cheetah knew he had an advantage and kept the lion at a comfortable distance. Eventually, the lion lost interest, and both lions plopped down and lazy lounged around the airstrip.”
Cheetahs are known for their incredible speed and agility, making them one of the most impressive hunters in the animal kingdom. They are also the smallest of the big cat species. Unfortunately, they are considered vulnerable, with a population decline of around 30% in the last 20 years due to habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and poaching.
“In the wild, you can never have expectations because nature will amaze you in many ways.” “I was lucky enough to witness something that many people will never see in their lifetime, and it was an experience that I will never forget.”